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Royce, Sir (Frederick) Henry

Royce, Sir (Frederick) Henry (1863–1933). Royce was an engineer whose first large commission in 1882 was to install a system of electric street lighting in Liverpool. Two years later he moved to Manchester and established his own electrical engineering firm. With the advent of the automobile he was drawn into this new field and in 1904 produced his first motor car. His early vehicles so impressed the automobile enthusiast C. S. Rolls that the two men entered into partnership in 1906 as Rolls-Royce Ltd. Royce provided the engineering talent, and developed the superb marque of large, 40–50 horsepower motorcars of which the Silver Ghost was the first, to be followed by the Phantom and Wraith models in the 1920s. Rolls was killed in an aeroplane accident in 1910, and Royce suffered a severe illness in the following year as a result of overwork. In the First World War he responded to pleas from the British government by manufacturing the Eagle aeroplane engine, and he went on to design other aero-engines, some of which won the Schneider trophy in 1929 and 1931. Royce was created a baronet in 1930.

R. Angus Buchanan

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